tv Democracy Now LINKTV February 5, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
>> coming up on "california country," see how one shop and farmer are keeping it all in the family. then we're getting the scoop on a new kind of ice cream. and meet a man who is putting fruit to work. plus we've got some summertime produce tips for you. i's all ahead, and it starts now. [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] >> welcome to "california country". i'm ur host tracy sellers. you know, one of the most special parts about being a
farmer is seeing how chefs use your produce. and on the central coast, we saw one very special connection between a farmer and a chef. along the central coast, they're blessed with picture-perfect postcard weather, breathtaking scenery, and a variety of agriculture, all of which have contributed to the success of gold coast farms >> well, the family farm operation gold coast gas started by my father ron burk and his partner bob espinola. and they started farming in 1978. and they started framing with lettuce and broccoli. and that evolved into spinach and cilantro, cauliflower, strawberries. we do a few specialty items like the grapes and scme sweet corn and pumpns, things like that in the summer. but the bulk of what
we do is broccoli, cilantro, spinach , cauliflower. >> today gary and his dad ron run the farm that remains as diversified as ever. they grow a variety of crops, including a couple hundred acres of spinach in santa maria that goes to restaurants and grocery stores across the country. they also grow more than a thousand acres of broccoli that they custom harvest and ship to several large restaurant chains, and cater to whatever they might want: short stalks, tall stalks, no stalks. you name it and they'll grow it. and another big crop the family grows these days is also one of the tiniest, in size that is: cilantro. they're growing about 500 acres of it, and they supply some of the biggest mexican chain restaurants in the country. but no matter what crop they're harvesting, they know one chef in town that will whip up a new and exciting recipe that the family will enjoy. and hshould know since he's part of the family. meet chef rick. know since he's part of the family. meet chef rick. >> chef rick is my brother-in-law. the chef is
married to my sister, so yes, we definitely work with chef rick. >> look at that broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach pizza. this is the grilled salmon, peach, shrimp, spinach, ginger, and sesame salad. >> rick has a very creative mind for food. you know, he--i mean, he is from the south, but he's cooked all over the country, and so his food is very eclectic, and it's very spice driven, and it's a very interesting food. and so he always has a unique take on how to, you know, pre@are things. >> chef rick is owner and executive chef of his aptly named restaurant chef rick's. and his up-tempo cooking is a blend of his culinary roots, having grown up in southern louisiana, mixed in with the southern california influence that now comes primarily from
the seasonal produce that his family provides him pretty much every day now. >> hey, who ordered the broccoli, caudiflower, spinach, and cilantro pizza? you guys? >> bring it on. >> that's us. >> to get vegetables--to get anything--as fresh as possible has always been a point of mine. and so to marry into it and, you know, have them bring it every time they come in is beautiful, so... [laughter] >> broccoli wine. [laughter and cheering] >> that's really good. [laughter] >> they might not be producing broccoli wine, but the burk family is ib fact producing wine. in the early nineties, they planted wine grapes in the region, and then in 1994, they began producing wine under their
own label: costa de oro, which is spanish for "gold coast," by the way. they recently opened their own tastina room, where they produce about 6,500 cases a year now. and while as winemakers they get most of the accolades, they give almost all of the credit to their surroundings. for them, producing wine is all about location, location, location. >> this valley runs right up to the ocean, and we get this huge marine influence of fog and cool air that comes into the valley. and so even though we're so far south compared to napa and the inland part of sonoma and mendocino countywe're actually cooler than any of those growing areas. and that's why chardonnay and pinot noir can do so well here. we always sort our fruit. the fruit comes up on the table, and then we can hand sort it. and the main thing that we're working with this year is just sorting out any berries that have seen extreme heat and have
any heat damage, which would be, you know, excessive shrivel or raisining. it's picking cut at about 2 tons per acre right now. >> it's holding there? >> it's holding at 2 tons per acre, yeah, so we're gonna be good as far as the yield goes. and, um, we'll probably finish tomorrow with the pinot noir. >> so from making wine to winning over customers to feeding families across the country with their plethora of produce, this farming family is proving you can do it all and enjoy the fruits of your labor along the way, t. for "california country," i'm tracy sellers. and if you're down in santa maria, you can check out their tasting room almost any time. they're open daily, so check it out if you get a second. coming up next, we're seeing how one man has taken the motto of "healthy employees make wealthy companies" to an entirely new level.
>> welcome back to "california country." so by now we've probably all heard the phrase "farm to table but what about "farm to desk"? so how familiar does this sound to you? you're at work, you're hungry, you're tired, and eating healthy is really the last thing on your mind. well, what if you could get a virtual farmers market delivered to your depk every day? with the lure of jqnk food right at our fingertips, the thought of healthy dk eating may sound impossible, right? well, not if you're bay area entrepreneur chris mittelstaedt. during the dot com era of the 1990s, chris saw
firsthand just how unhealthy workplace dining had become and decided change was in order and it was time to put fruit to work. >> we asked people what they wanted to see most, and they said, gosh, if we could eat something healthy so we could avoid this junk food, that would make our lives a lot better. so my friend and i thought, why not deliver just something as simple as bresh fruit and see how that works? >> to get his grassroots business up and going, chris goes to evy measure, even dressing up like a banana on the streets of san francisco, all to be taken siously. >> hi, would you like a banana today, sir--a free banana from the fruit guys? >> sure. > we deliver fruit to offices, keep employees healthy at work. free banana from the fruit guys? we deliver fruit to offices. >> thank yoe. thank you. >> yeah, grab a banana if you'd like. free banana today? >> a simple concept to some but also a hard sell for some of us. studies show that more than 70% us eat at our desks several times a week, and not so healthy food, either, which is where chris and his staff of fruit
fanatics come in. companies sign up for the service, where a box full of a variety of farm-fresh fruit is at your doorstep-- or in this case, at your desk--every week. from fortune 500 companies to small family-run business, all are jumping o the bandwagon of bringing healthy brain food to the workplace. >> a lot of the things they quote are that it, you know, reduces absenteeism. you know, people seem more energetic and more productive. um, you know, that the culture of candy and sort of that 2:00 sugar crash just kind of goes away. and those things, they seem small, but they can actually have a really big impact on the way a workforce is performing or behaving. hey. >> hi. how are ya? >> great. it's good to see ya. >> good to see you again, man. thanks. >> come on back. >> all right. >> so, yeah, we've got concord pears featured in the box this week. and we did a little newsletter on it. it talks a little bit about the history of the concord pear. it's actually a really unique pear because it's able to be eaten firm. you
don't actually have to wait completely until it gets completely soft. it's not an astringent pear when it's firm, so it's a great tasting pear. we thought you'd really enjoy it. >> thank you. i can't wait. >> yeah. >> eople love it. we at one time used to get some not healthy stuff in here--you know, donuts and things like that. and ever since we started getting fruit, i think people have really enjoyed it a lot more. >> this is a satsuma, a mandarin, and these come from a gty that we work with down in porterville, california. so a great way to eat it, if you want to try, you can actually pop your thumb right in the middle of it. it's a zipper skin, peels right off. it's super easy and delicious and tasty, so enjoy. >> thank you. >> all right, n. take care. >> you, too. >> i'm from the midwest, and so we have a lot of the traditional
fruits and vegetables out there. um, a couple weeks ago they started putting persimmons in our box, and so it was great. i thought, oh, here's a new fruit to try. and so, um, i did, and i loved it. and, um, so it's been neat to kind of spread the word around the office, and everyone will try something new or something different. that's always--it's been a lot of fun. >> the fruit guys company now delivers about a quarter of a million pieces of fruit a week to companies all over california. chris says he tries to source new varieties of fruits all from small family farms, which are the inspiration for keeping fresh fruit ripe for the picking for weary workers, and who are the base of this unique operation. >> you know, farmers have a really big job, right? i mean, they're tasked with growing product, which takes a lot of time throuout the year. and it's hard for them to focus on the business growth as much as i think--you know, when you have to do both things--you have to grow your product and sell it-- that makes it really hard. so we become a help to the farmers.
we're buying a lot of their product and then daking it to the customers, um, you know, where they're located. and we then focus on the things that we do very well, you know, which is communication; delivery, obviously; finding the best pieces of produce to put togeth in the boxes; and then getting it to those clients as well. part of what we want to do is fnd unique varieties of fruit as much as we can. so every season that we go into, we're looking for different kinds of fruit that we can put in the box. a lot of times, the small growers are the ones that we find are really growing the unique produce that's out there. and, you know, they're really interesting pieces of fruit as well. so we'll work with torrey olsen up in gabriel farms up in sebastopo@ during the fall. he grows these wonderful asian apple pears that are difficult to find in terms of variety and quality from anybody else. >> produce partners with the fruit guys for more than 4 years now, torrey olsen of gabriel frams in sebastopol has become a favori not only of theriel
company that he does business with, but the guys behind the fruit guys as well. >> and it's nice, to, because they try and work with their customers, the people that get the fruit guys box. they always write a little bit about what we do and try and encourage them. you know, they did the videos and the stuff like that on their web site to try and get people to see, like, oh, that actually is a real person growing my food. and it's--you know, it's a much deeper relationship even just at that level. >> in fact, the partnership has gone beyond just money and cents, and now the fruit guys are as much a part of the farming families as the fruit they grow. as part of a new farm stewardship program, the fruit guys recently planted trees at torrey's farm and donated bees to him as well. >> they bought us beehives so we could have our own bees here on the property and we didn't have to ry on the--you know, the bee person who would just take them and bring them and then lee, and you never were sure when the bees were gonna be
here. so we have our own bees now, so we'll be able to have our own honey. and that's been a goal that i've had for us for a while. >> the stewardship program is much bigger than torrey's farm. it's all part of chris's main goal, which is to be a conduit and a link between local farmers and local communities. >> understanding where food comes from and how it intersects with their lives is important nowadays as life gets more complacated. and i thi that as we get farther away from the way we produce our food, and, you know, people actually kind of have a reverse reaction to that, and they want to actually then get closer to it and learn more about it. >> so in the box, chris includes descriptionp of the fruits, but he also includes recipes. to get some of those recipes, you can check out the link on our web site at californiacountry.org. well, coming up next, we're not kidding around whewe tell you this is one of the most unique ice creams we've ever seen. y'll see what i mean coming up
next. >> wel@ome back to "california country." you know, when i mention milk, we automatically think of cows, right? well, did you know that goat milk is actually the most consumed milk across the globe? which is why one wman thought of a new idea to enjoy goat milk. one of those hopeful farmers is donna pacheco. her and her family own one f sonom's most successful dairies, the achadinha cheese company. but you may be surprised at who's actually producing all of that award winning cheese. >> we had cows. my father-in-law was a second generation dairy
man and cheese maker. and so he- we reached a point, we decided to try something new. we aw the goat industry as an up-and-coming, uh, progress, a so we pursued that a little bit more, and sold the cows, and bought goats. >> today the pacheco family has more than 1,200 goats all roaming and frolicking on 130 acres of rolling hill and pristine countryside in petaluma. and it was just that picturesque backdrop that attracted city slicker and hollywood producer laura howard to the area with a unique idea. >> i just packed up my bs and said i'm done with l.a., and i want to go find some goats and have a go at this. so, drove to sonoma county 'cause that's where, you know, all the big cheese companies and yogurt companies were. >> she just said, you know, look, this is what i want to do. i want to make a goat ice cream, and i want tuse your milk.
>> and they just had a flavor named after them. we have a ozen yogurt now called "brownie and clyde." this is bubbles...blossom...hi, blossom. >> so laura left la-la land for the land of laloo's, which is the name of her newest project: goat milk ice cream, the first of its kind on the market. ice cream is just the latest product to be derived from the nutrient-rich and naturally low-in-calorie goat milk. from cheeses to yogurts, goat milk is gaining popularity across california. the golden state has more than 30,000 milking goats, making it tops in the nation, all of which doesn't surprise laura one bit. >> goat milk is much easier to digest. so goat milk ice cream, because it's very pure and there's nothing e@se in it-- it's just 100% goat's milk-- um, is much, much lower in fat.
it's very good for your moms. and, you know, i'm eating--well, i have a milkshake every day-- a go milk milkshake made from my ice cream every day, so... ha ha! the baby's very happy. i just wanteto make this for you, tracy, because it's something that is maybe not the most obvious way to serve chocolate ice cream. but we take our laloo's deep chocolate with all scharffen berger chocolate. and we'll just make a small one. but this is a great and simple sort of gourmet way to serve it. and this is our yummy olive oil that we smuggled back from italy, actually. and you dribble it with the oil, just a little bit, and then finish it with just a little bit of maldon salt sprinkled on top.
and it might not sound like something, but try it. >> it's good! in additian to making her daily milkshake, laura still makes all of her ice cream herself, too. >> i do love making the chocolate. i think it's so pretty. >> and her inspiration for all those zany flavors--chocolate cabernet, strawberry darling, and brownie and clyde--those come from where else but her own backyard? >> this is moe. moe also has had a flavor named after him. the molasses is now called slow moe. heh heh! >> so from the rat race of hollywood to the world of goat milk ice cream in sonoma, farmers and city slickers are just plain giddy for goats. >> and once you tpy her product, it's not what you have expected at all. it's an amazing thing. >> i get to drive around a lot and just be around happ people. you know, ice cream makes people happy, so how can you go wrong, you know? heh! i'm pretty lucky
that way. >> so laura tells me that they're now selling the goat milk products in more than 1,400 stores nationwide. way to go, laura. that's great. coming up next, we're giving you all the tips on picking the best produce the next time you're at the supermarket. that's next. >> welcome back to "california country." >> ah, flors. whatever the reason, whatever the season, flowers are big business in california. surveys show the golden state sells about 500 million stems of flowers in a
given year. but it takes much more than slipping a bloom int@ a vase to get a fresh bouquet to you. don garabaldi's family has been growing acres and acres of flowers for 106 years. pescadero is a sleepy seaside town not far from the city. the area has a mild climate and rich earth, the perfect setting to produce vibrant flowers. a rainbow of blooms are picked here on the hour, every hour, 6 days a week. >> we love it when we first work the soil with the equipment. you turn the ground over. it's got a nice, fresh smell to it. and you work in e soil, leveling it off, making rows so you can plant your seeds. and then 90 days to 120 days down the road, you see the flowers me up, and your production, and we get a tremendous satisfaction out of that. >> yelw yarrow, delphinia, larkspur, stock, and dianthus pepper the landscape, and eventually make their way to bouquets around the world.
>> once in a while i have tours here. we walk them through everything from b@re ground to seed to the production growing to a the equipment that we use. and they're kind of amazed what it takes to grow all this stuff. it's a lot of countless hours and a lot of work. it's a lot of hard work. >> a day in the life of a flower arrangement means going from the farm to the mart to the florist, a process that starts around midnight. >> and there's a lot of space out there. the streets are quiet. and in here there's just a lot of movement--the flowers and different things and deliveries. having a cup of coffee, talking about what they want for the next market day. and that's--that's what it's all about. >> hundreds of vendors supply the san francisco flower mart with flowers in every make, model, shape, and size. but this
place had much simpler beginnings. in the late 1800s, local flower growers would pedal their goods at lotta's fountain where market, geary, and kearny streets converge in downtown san francisco. today local growers continue to supply the mart with bushels of bouquets, providing the first crucial step in a day in the life of how flowers get to you. >> people that i know, most of them don't even know that the flower market exists. and if they do, they have no idea that it goes on in the middle of the night. >> and i think that anybody that comes here and sees what goes on in the early mornings, they can see the spirit and how everybody really enjoys it. just look at all these beautiful flowers. this is the largest flower market in the world. it's got every variety possible. and if you can't find it here, it's not available or it's not in season. you're helping your dad today, huh? >> a little bit. >> yeah, that's good.
don't forget to go and have a piece of cake over there. >> what's the celebration? >> anniversary, 48 years, yeah. >> congratulations! >> i started out going to the flower market at 12 years old. i'm giving my age away, but--ha ha ha! it's been a lot of fun through the years, hasn't it? >> yeah, it sure has. we've been in this market a long time. >> a long time. we've done a lot of nice things. >> and we've caused a little commotion >> a little troublwe've gotten i@, with both the tenants and the customers... >> and the customers. >> and the wives. >> oh, yeah, the wives. >> we won't--ha ha ha! you know, actually at one time, back many years ago, they used to open up at 6:00, and then they changed it to 7:00. and now it opens when you get there. heh! we actually get there sometimes at midnight, 11:30, and customers will be waiting 'cause ey want to get their flowe. and they maybe come from a long distance, so they want to get them, and they want to beat the traffic. >> once at the shop, the flowers are pampered and processed and placed in a vase. it's been a mere 10 hours since this
larkspur left the farm in pescadero. it now heads out the door to brighten someone's day. california-grown goodness at its best. i'm dennis newhall for "california country." >> today on food 101, we're going to be talking about how i pick the best produce. and there's nobody better to tl us about that than my friend greg corrigan of raley's, vice president of produce and floral here. so, first of all, tomatoes. how do you pick the best tomato? >> well, tomatoes here--one of our best sellers is the tomato on the vine as you're seeing right here. so they're grown actually indoors. so most of the time, all you have to look for is make sure there's no blemishes, no cuts, no scars. but generally they're consistent, good tomatoes. >> ok, so noq we're on to the melon area. what should we look
for, like, in a good cantaloupe? what are we looking for? >> well, cantaloupe, again, a lot of it's based on the skin. you don't want to see any blistering or any wrinkling. you want to see a nice, consistent, round, firm flesh to it. a nice and heavy, dense piece of fruit. >> ok. >> as you were noticing here, i think you were gonna... > yeah. is this bad? i mean, i'd look at that and go "ooh." >> it's actually not. actually, all that is is from where it sat on the ground. >> now, what about the honeydew? what are we lookina for? i notice a difference in color here. >> you kind of see a little bit of difference in ripeness. these aren't quite as ripe as the deeper, darker ones. you'll see this deeper yellowing. you'll actually get a tackiness to the feel to it. >> oh. where these will be a little bit smoother, as they start to ripen and get a deeper color, you'll get that tackiness to it. >> oh, ok. >> it'll be a little more sticky, and those are the ones you want to go for. > now, this one, i always have trouble picking the best corn. what should i be looking for on this one? >> well, you just want to find one that's got nice green coloring to it, where the silks aren't real moldy or beaten up. >> ok. >> um, ideally you want to just rip that thing open, though, and make sure you got full maturity
all the way through the corn-- that it's not immature and underdeveloped. um, but corn, one thing about corn is once it's harvested, it instantly is turning from sugar to starch. >> oh. >> so you want to get it in the fridge right away at home. >> oh, ok. >> you don't want to store corn too long at home. you want to eat it right away. >> so this is my personal favorite: strawberries. i love strawberries. but how do i pick a good basket of strawberries? >> well, you definitely want to look for one that doesn't have any mold. you want to always turn them over. >> ok, i do that. that's good. >> you know, shake thearound a little bit. make sure you don't see any, then again, fuzzy. and sometimes that happens. you'll get one strawberry that's bad. again, you know, it'll kind of infest the whole package. but you want them nice, shiny, firm, no mold. >> good, aood, good. >> one thing that a lot of people will do is take these home and wash them up right away. but really, if you're not gonna use them that very first day, you want to put them in a refrigerator just like this in the container, and then take them out and wash them as you need them. >> oh, really? >> because that water, that moisture, can tend to cause a little bit of mold to start growing on them. >> that's not good. >> so you definitely don't want
that, so wash them as you need them. >> so how long would you store these in the fridge, would you say? >> you know, some people will stretch it 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 days, but you definitely @on't want to stretch it beyond 6 or 7 days. >> too much longer than that, right? >> yeah, that's gonna push the limits a bit. >> ok, good. and when in doubt, if you have any questions, ask your local produce man, right? >> the produce manager that's on duty. they're the experts in the field. they know what's going on. they know what's coming in local and good right then and there. >> good. >> always want to ask them what's going on. >> g@od. you guys know. ok, thanks. well, that is gonna do it for this show doday. if you have questions about the stories you've seen today, check out our web site at californiacountry.org. also, check out our facebook site if you get a second. we've got some brand-new recipes on there for ya. and we will see you again next week on "california country." see you then. [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] [captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--]